[South Africa] Can employers force home working employees to return?

[South Africa] Can employers force home working employees to return?
23 Sep 2020

At midnight on September 20 South Africa’s lockdown moved to Alert Level 1, following an announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Lockdown regulations state that all businesses can operate under Alert Level 1, apart from those listed in specific economic exclusions. The regulations allow people who are able to work from home to continue doing so but Business Tech considers whether companies could force home working employees to go back to the office.

According to Aadil Patel - director and national head of Employment Practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr - the answer can reportedly be found in existing government-published coronavirus legislation. Mr Patel refers to regulations issued under the Disaster Management Act for the answer. The regulations say that businesses with over 100 employees - working in a group in the same floor space - must make provision to minimise the number of employees at any given time. Business Tech looks more closely at the existing guidance and the provisions made for at-risk employees. 

At midnight on September 20 South Africa’s lockdown moved to Alert Level 1, following an announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Lockdown regulations state that all businesses can operate under Alert Level 1, apart from those listed in specific economic exclusions. The regulations allow people who are able to work from home to continue doing so but Business Tech considers whether companies could force home working employees to go back to the office.

According to Aadil Patel - director and national head of Employment Practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr - the answer can reportedly be found in existing government-published coronavirus legislation. Mr Patel refers to regulations issued under the Disaster Management Act for the answer. The regulations say that businesses with over 100 employees - working in a group in the same floor space - must make provision to minimise the number of employees at any given time. Business Tech looks more closely at the existing guidance and the provisions made for at-risk employees. 

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